When I first heard about the potential new stadium for the Dynamo, I favored it on the condition that the deal would be like it was reported – the city contributed the land and the team paid for the rest of it. Then the city committed to purchasing a bunch of land just east of downtown for the stadium, but they failed to get anything in writing from the Dynamo, and the Dynamo were implying that the terms had changed, and gave an April 1 deadline for reaching an agreement.
That deadline has passed.
According to team president Oliver Luck, most MLS teams enter into partnerships with cities wherein the city pays 90 percent of the cost of the stadium. Now, this is a lot different than the city providing the land and the team building the stadium. I don’t even think that Drayton McLane, Les Alexander or Bob McNair were able to get that kind of sweetheart deal.
And while I was rather pissed at Bill White for getting the land without first getting an agreement with the Dynamo, I am pleased at his response to the blackmail letter he received from the MLS Commissioner. Specifically, it appears he told the MLS to shove it. To that, I say bravo.
The city has built three state-of-the-art sport palaces within the past decade for a bunch of rich people who wouldn’t pay for the things themselves. And it’s not like the Dynamo owners, AEG and Oscar De La Hoya, are poor. If they want this thing so bad, well, the city has the land all ready for them, they just have to build. And, maybe, if they’re responsible for the costs, the price wouldn’t increase over 20 million dollars in a matter of weeks.
Now I’m not new to this whole stadium blackmail thing. I know what’s going to happen. I know my tax dollars are going to go toward paying for most of the costs, but I really want the owners to have to sweat it out for once. It would be easier to deal from a position of strength if the land hadn’t already been bought, but I like that the mayor is actually acting like he’s not going to lie down and take it. – John Royal
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